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Research Guides

Biology

Secondary Sources in Biology

In biology and the sciences, secondary sources are books and articles that provide an overview of a discipline or the current state of research, rather describing one specific experiment and its method and result. Review articles are secondary sources, and one excellent way to search for them them is to find a subject-specific journal in the Annual Reviews database, as well as limiting database search results to review articles. Books are most often secondary sources.

Find Biology Books

Biology books in print are shelved on Honnold 1 near the cafe. E-books and print book are searchable via Library Search.

Books are are important in the sciences because they take a broader view of a topic that does a research article or a review article. When you are new to a topic or starting a big research project (like a senior thesis or a literature review), starting with books is a better strategy than diving straight into research articles. Find books in the library by using Library Search as well as browsing the shelves of the biology collection.

In academic libraries in the United States, books are grouped by subject and the call numbers correspond to those subjects in a system called the Library of Congress Classification System. For more about how to find a book in our library, see our Finding a Book FAQ.